Vialii Garden Design is committed to delivering excellent quality landscaping and garden designs to both residential and commercial gardens throughout central Scotland. Here we’ll try to keep you abreast of all things Vialii along with our perspective on the latest trends in garden design.
Gardening used to have a reputation for being boring and something people do when they retire. These days it is trendy to spend more time outdoors and use your garden as an extra room. So we have our (green) fingers on the pulse and have brought you the big garden trends for 2019 which you don’t want to miss!
FUNK IT UP
As Bruno Mars would say, you need to funk up your garden! There are all sorts of ways you can do this from adding a rendered wall painted bright colours; add funky mirrors to the garden; do unusual stepping stones made from tyres and artificial turf. Let your imagination go wild and add things which are personal and mean something to you. You will love your garden all the more and will want to spend more time out there.
Funk your garden up in 2019 (Source unknown)
CONSIDER THE CLIMATE
Create a climate change garden by thinking of its sustainability and its impact on the climate. There are lots of small changes you can make such as:
add a green roof to your shed
make a bin store with a living roof
add an irrigation system to save water or simply add a water butt
add more wildlife friendly planting
make sure your paving and driving is permeable and/or water has places to run off
introduce more upcycled and reclaimed materials into your garden
COLOUR OF THE YEAR 2019
The Pantone colour of the year for 2019 is PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral. We LOVE this colour and it’s the perfect way to keep your garden on trend. Plants such as phormium, heuchera, kniphofia, iris, dahlia and peonia are just a few that come in gorgeous coral shades to add some warmth to your flower beds.
Pantone colour of the year 2019
TAKE THE INDOORS OUTDOORS
You will want to spend more time outdoors if you make it as comfortable as being indoors. There are lots to try such as:
add an outdoor sofa and bean bags for lazing around
add an inflatable movie screen for alfresco movie nights
add art to your fences and walls
paint blackboard paint on your fence or shed to leave fun messages (or to do lists!) for each other
a tiled patio for the ultimate indoor/outdoor feel
add lighting and heating to extend how long you can spend outdoors. Cool fire-pits and solar lighting are affordable and great these days
It’s time to be bold in the garden and push the boundaries a bit. Introduce bold colours into your garden – this could be as simple as painting your shed a bright colour or adding in some oversized planters. Bold planting is on trend, either go for strong colours or go for large jungle style planting such as phormium, bamboo, fatsia japonica and dicksonia antarctica, all of which look exotic but will survive well in your garden.
Planting Dicksonia antartctica is a great way to make a bold statement in your garden
If you need some advice with what to do with your garden in 2019 then please get in touch.
As we near the end of 2018, as is the tradition, we have cast our minds back over the year that’s been and we have pulled together our own wee highlights of the gardening world (and some other stuff!) and created the Vialii Review of 2018…
Product of the Year
We loved the vitrified paving we used in a garden we designed and built in Dunblane recently. Being vitrified means it won’t stain if anything is spilt on it and algae won’t grow on it. So basically it will continue to look just as beautiful for years to come!
Vitrified paving is a gorgeous addition to the garden
Community Garden of the Year
We were delighted to attend the official opening of the Shieldhill Butterfly Project Garden for the Community this year having worked with the community on designing and bringing it to life over recent years. From being a sloped, unusable garden it’s great to see the garden now accessible and widely used.
Design of the Year
There were so many fabulous designs this year and it’s impossible to pick a favourite. We did love this decked area we designed in Bridge of Allan using Millboard composite decking and really chunky ropes.
Millboard composite decking paired with chunky ropes looks stunning
Garden of the Year
An old favourite, the award this year goes to the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. It is only open to the public one day each year but it’s soooo worth making the effort to go. Get it in the diary for 2019!
Plant of the Year
This year we have given the award to a plant which should be in everyone’s garden – hydrangea paniculata. “Limelight” is a particular favourite of ours and will go with most planting schemes. If you don’t have one already, find space and plant one in 2019.
Hydrangea paniculata “Limelight”
Feature of the Year
We’ve opted for one of our own upcycling projects for this award. It’s always really rewarding taking something unwanted and turning it into a stunning addition to the garden. We took a run down old garden bench, fixed a spar and gave it a good sanding and then painted it bright colours to make it a practical but colourful focal point in our own front garden.
The before and after shots of our bench
New Addition of the Year
We can’t review 2018 without giving a special mention to our brand new member of Team Vialii, our cockapoo puppy Noodle! We’re looking forward to lots more adventures with her in 2019!
Noodle joined Team Vialii in October 2018
We hope your 2018 was full of great memories too. Here’s to a great 2019!
If you’re like us and you have still not finished your Christmas shopping and are struggling for ideas, then this is the list for you! We have carefully selected our favourite garden related gifts which your nearest and dearest would love to receive. So without further ado, here is the Vialii Guide to Christmas Gardening Gifts 2018…
Inflatable Outdoor Movie Screen
This is the perfect gift for those who have everything. Imagine a late night movie screening on a warm sunny evening in the garden? Or an atmospheric Halloween film, jeepers! Check out Amazon for a range of sizes and prices!
Watch It’s A Wonderful Life on the big screen in your garden this year!
BBQ In A Bag
This BBQ in a bag is perfect for days out with the family or for festival goers. It comes with a 7 in 1 utensil too so you’re sorted! Available from various suppliers including Blacks.
The new fast food on the block!
Garden Watch Cam
Make your own videos of plants unfurling, wildlife visiting or us transforming your garden from the bare to the beautiful with this garden watch cam.
Watch your garden unfurl before your eyes
Concrete Planter Kit
We just love this kit where you can make your own geometric concrete planters. These industrial style planters would be perfect for cacti or succulents. Available from Not on the High Street.
For the stylish gardener in your life
If your loved one is a fan of taking photos in their garden, then this Olloclip macro lens for their iPhone is the perfect gift for them. Various lenses suitable for a variety of phones available on Amazon.
Get close up pics of your garden
Cocktail Garden Kit
This would be perfect for the cocktail lover in your life. They can grow their own herbs to add the perfect twist to their drinks. Just remember to gift them the other ingredients to go with it too! Available from various retailers including Amazon.
A lip smacking gardening gift!
Our Vialii gardening vouchers are a wonderful gift for those with little time or who are unsure what to do with their garden. They can use them for grass cutting, hedge trimming, a new lovely pot or a garden design. You choose the value, we do the hard work! Contact us for more details.
A Vialii gift voucher, the perfect gift this Christmas
Whatever you decide upon, we wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2019.
Normally we are adorning your garden with beautiful planting, patios, pergolas and water features. But at this time of year our minds turn to how we can tastefully make your house stand out in the festive crowd. Here’s our guide to the best outdoor Christmas decorations…
You will no doubt be in and out your door several times a day and if you’re anything like us there will be couriers galore coming backwards and forwards so make sure you add a wreath and make it look really pretty. Your local florist will be able to supply one but even better, make one yourself. Look out for local classes or follow an online tutorial. A trip to your local woods should give you most of what you need.
Make a festive wreath for your front door this Christmas
Our top tip when it comes to external Christmas lights is to think about the sort of lights which are showing from inside the house and also any outside lights you already have on the home. It’s best to complement those colours so don’t choose cool white external lights if the ones inside your house are warm tones. We love the icicle lights which you can run along the front of the house and if you have a large shrub or a nice tree in your garden make sure you make it twinkle with a few fairy lights too. We also love these sparkle balls you can hang from your trees, available from Argos.
These sparkle balls would make an eye catching display hanging from your tree
It can be difficult to not give in to the temptation of some of the more “fun” Christmas lights. There are lots to choose from and if an inflatable Santa isn’t for you why not opt for an LED reindeer from eBay to brighten up your garden this Christmas. Position them amongst your shrubs for optimum effect.
An LED reindeer can be fun but still creates a stylish display
If you want to add some sparkle to your balcony or window sills, these lovely LED jam jars from Not on the High Street are the perfect touch…
Pretty LED lights in a jar brighten up a dark balcony
Whatever you opt for, enjoy spending time at home and in your garden this Christmas.
We recently went on holiday to York and stayed in a beautiful townhouse just outside the City Walls. The garden was very small but it showed how a small garden can still be cleverly designed to create a lush green space where you can relax. Here are a few tips on how to design a small courtyard garden.
As with all gardens, you will need somewhere to relax and enjoy the space around you. With a small garden it’s extra important that this space is well designed so that it’s not too small and you can’t fit furniture on it properly but equally not too big and taking over the whole space and not allowing room for anything else.
A carefully selected dining set allows you to eat outdoors.
With limited horizontal space, make sure you use the vertical space in whatever way you can. Add climbers, a green wall, tall planting, hanging baskets, trellis. Just max out the space as much as you can.
Add lush planting which adds height and trellis to cover the boundaries
Clever use of materials will make the garden feel harmonious and not too busy, allowing you to relax and enjoy the garden.
Brick edging to the patio ties in with the brick boundary wall.
Mirrors are a great way to make a small garden look bigger and reflect light around a potentially darker space.
Mirrors are great for small gardens
In a small space it can be easy to think you should just add a few small plants but it’s actually the opposite. Add large plants and lots of plants. The garden will immediately feel lovely and lush. Little tricks such as removing foliage from lower down the plant can create a strong look and help in a smaller space.
Add LOTS of planting and planters and make the space feel lush and green
A great example of how even tiny gardens can be a wonderful oasis in the city.
Back in September 2014, when Tilda was still tucked up safely in my tummy, Michael and I met with Elaine from the Butterfly Project to discuss how we could help them transform the local church’s steeply sloping garden into a space the community could use. Elaine with the support of her Brownies wanted to turn this unused space into somewhere accessible, wildlife friendly and somewhere for the whole community to use and enjoy. We helped them create the Shieldhill Butterfly Project Garden for the Community.
The sloping garden before
The garden was quite steep so tackling the elevation differences was the first of our tricky tasks. To do this we created different areas and we used different materials to make the garden as aesthetically appealing as possible.
Our design for the Shieldhill garden
The top area was transformed into a large decked area using a composite material keeping it very low maintenance. This is the perfect space to have functions, entertaining, have outdoor classes etc.
The large deck is perfect for social events
Some wide steps make it easy to access the lower patio made from sandstone. In-built seating around the edges makes it a welcoming space to relax. A fabulous mosaic of the Girl Guide logo takes centre stage in the patio.
Sandstone patio with inset mosaic
To the side is a lovely, flat lawn area – a far cry from the steep grassy slope there before.
A winding, resin bound path leads you around the garden and passed the mixed planting.
Paths lead you around the lawn
Towards the gate there are painted hopscotch and draughts games for visitors to enjoy (we had our own fiercely fought game of draughts with the girls when we were there!)
Draughts and hopscotch add entertainment
Beautiful stone raised beds provides more planting and at a height for everyone to enjoy.
And beautiful metal gates with bespoke messages finish off the garden perfectly.
Michael officially opens the new gardens with Elaine and the local guiding movement
The local brownies have loved adding their own touches to the garden with their beautiful artwork.
Artwork by 1st Shieldhill Brownies
And the local wildlife has not been forgotten – the planting has been designed to attract a wide array of wildlife into the garden, the poshest of bug hotels has been created (definitely 5 star!) and there are even hedgehog homes under the decking.
And, as with all community projects, it does take a long time to agree the design, get quotes, choose a contractor, get funding etc. It’s all credit to Elaine and the team for persevering and making it happen. Tilda was delighted to see the completed garden almost 4 years since she first visited!
Tilda loves the new community garden
Truly a garden for the whole community. Well done to Elaine and all the team for bringing the Shieldhill Butterfly Project Garden for the Community to fruition!
It’s the time of year that many of us are heading off on holiday, leaving our homes empty. There are obvious things you can do in your homes to deter would-be burglars such as alarms, CCTV and putting lights on timers. But, in our latest blog, we share some ideas on how to help burgle-proof your garden and subsequently your home.
Introducing spiky plants in borders where your garden may be accessed can be a great deterrent. Plants such as holly and berberis will be your friend but not burglars! Plants with thorns such as roses can be helpful too.
Having gravel driveways, paths and borders can help as any intruder will make a noise which may put them off even trying to come near.
Think about your boundaries and how difficult it would for a burglar to access your property. A thick hedge such as privet can be grown to a good height and is too thick to push through. Alternatively a robust fence which is high enough and cannot easily be climbed is useful. Add locks to gates and sheds (and use them!) You can get alarmed padlocks which adds an extra level of security.
Adding lighting to the garden can help deter intruders. Security lights on the house are great but also adding low voltage lighting around the garden not only makes the garden look pretty, it eliminates dark corners where someone could hide.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday, wherever you go and keep your home safe.
We love spending our days in gardens and feel fortunate to be able to do so. We know so many people have to walk/cycle along busy roads to get to work or sit in cars or in busy trains. One of our maintenance clients sent us these amazing photos of his commute to work in Qingdao, China. We would love it if more money was spent in making our outdoors spaces more green – better for the environment and better for our health and well being.
How beautiful is this patterned path through planting? Much more appealing than a dull tarmac pavement at the side of a busy road.
Beautiful planting and pathways make it difficult to believe its in the heart of a city of 5 million people! More pathways separate from the roadside would make a big difference to our health and wellbeing.
A rose bed is carefully tended to keep it looking beautiful. It will certainly help with the pollution and lovely to have nice wide paths where several people can walk side by side away from the roadside.
This is our favourite! How cool is this blue path, it’s like a giant ocean wave rushing through the garden! Why do pavements need to be flat and grey?
We would love to see your horticultural commute to work, please share your photos.
Many thanks to Andy Fraser for letting us use these photos.
It was the annual opening of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation last weekend so it was the perfect place to spend Jill’s birthday. As it’s only open for this one day a year you have to make sure you’re on the ball and grasp the opportunity to see what is arguably the most impressive garden in Scotland. Here are some of our highlights from this year’s visit…
There are gorgeous bridges at every turn in the garden, many are painted blood red and look wonderful as you look across the gardens.
The cascade is like no waterfall you have ever seen before!
The DNA Garden
Packed with fabulous sculptures and lovely planting, this relatively small part of the garden alone is worth a visit!
Everywhere you go in the Garden of Cosmic Speculation you will see beautiful detailing. This lovely stone wall with circular inset detailing caught our eye.
The plants and sculptures cast amazing shadows all around the garden. This beautiful old tree was creating lovely shadows on the moss underneath.
The Black Hole Terrace
We just love the effect Charles Jencks has created using some metal and artificial grass.
Spring has arrived really late this year but it meant we could enjoy the rhododendrons and magnolias in their full glory in the aptly named Flower Paradise Garden.
We love trying to create intrigue in our gardens when we can and this has been done really well at Cosmic by creating a hole in a hedge where you can peek through and see the next part of the garden. C’mon let’s go explore!
Cleverly positioned mirrors catch your eye and reflect the surrounding garden.
After we last visited the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, these painted telegraph poles inspired us to make our own back fence to our garden. Our 3 year old said “amazing” when she walked into the Time Garden.
There were a sea of bluebells cascading through the woods, truly spectacular.
Charles Jencks is famous for his landforms and there are none more impressive than the ones at Cosmic with the large Snake Mound and the cleverly designed Snail Mound.
Best sign ever
We love this!
Our kids get dragged round lots of gardens with us but there was not a single “I’m bored” as we went around Cosmic. They had just as much fun as us!
It was glorious weather for our bank holiday visit to the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, perfect for a picnic in the most stunning of surroundings. And even a cake to boot!
We highly recommend you watch out for the annual opening of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, it’s as amazing as the name suggests!
To see some of our other favourite gardens to visit click here.
It’s Friday the 13th and for those who are superstitious it’s a day for hiding indoors. We all know the most common superstitions such as “don’t walk under a ladder” or “a broken mirror will bring bad luck” but did you know that these plants are said to be unlucky for some…
Dandelions are a common sight in gardens and children love to blow their “clocks”. But did you know that superstition says that bringing dandelions into the house can cause you to wet the bed! It may be because their leaves can be a diaretic if you eat too many. Find out more about the dandelion in our Weedipedia.
The Hawthorn is said to be unlucky. It may be due to its blossom being linked to Pagan festivals in the past and thus being forbidden by the Christian church.
May blossom: unlucky for some
Ajuga is a ground cover plant with pretty blue flowers in spring or summer. Yet this simple little flower is said to cause a fire if taken into a house!
It’s not unlucky to have a rowan tree as they are said to ward off witches. But remove or damage one at your peril…
Removing a rowan tree may bring bad luck
Fruit tree blossom
It was considered unlucky to take the blossom from any fruit tree in to the house and to be honest we understand this one as by picking blossom you will end up with less fruit on your tree. Back in the days when you relied on growing your own food this would be a big deal.
Plants with white flowers in general are frequently considered unlucky plants and are commonly thought that they bring death.
White flowers are said to be bad luck
We hope your Friday 13th bucks tradition and is full of luck. Next time maybe pick up that penny just to be sure!